Would you believe more than half of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That is the reason why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last modified to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, calculates how effective your furnace is at transforming natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will lose about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, President Biden recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly decrease emissions, save consumers money and encourage sustainability.
This solution is projected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Cut down on carbon emissions by 373 million metric tons and methane emissions by 5.1 million tons over 30 years, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
Starting in 2029, the recommended rule would demand all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would convert nearly all the gas they use into heat.
So, what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? As of this writing, not much, as the proposed rule won't go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and will not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Wisconsin Rapids soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Learn how these furnaces can help you save on energy bills now.
Guide to Condensing Furnaces
How Condensing Furnaces Work
A condensing furnace is a type of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the volume of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also demands less natural gas to generate the same rate of heat when comparing it to other types of furnaces.
How Condensing Furnaces Differ from Non-Condensing Furnaces
The main difference between a condensing furnace and a non-condensing furnace is that the former uses a secondary heat exchanger to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
Expected Longevity of a Condensing Furnace
The life span of a condensing furnace depends on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Usually, condensing furnaces are more pricey than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the additional parts needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can usually offset the expense of purchase, however, so over time, it may be worthwhile investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: What Are They and How Do They Operate
A variable-speed furnace can adjust its fan speed based on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until it detects a temperature decrease and then ramps up to produce more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only utilizes the amount of energy necessary to heat your home, which results in a net savings each month on your utility bill.
Many of the variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful of are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. In order for a furnace to be classified as a condensing furnace, it must be 90 AFUE or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it takes to maintain that temperature.
When too much energy is essential to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to manage that demand. Doing this will ensure more efficient heating and cooling in your home while also offering quieter operation.
Guide to Two-Stage Furnaces
Two-Stage Furnaces: What They Are and How They Work
A two-stage furnace is a type of heating system that utilizes two different stages of operation — low and high. On the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to satisfy demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience enhanced energy efficiency and uniform temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all versions are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Function All the Time?
A two-stage furnace should not run constantly. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at limited capacity in order to retain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the heating system will flip to its high stage and operate at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are proven to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating constantly.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at reduced capacity to help maintain a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can function at several speeds in order to maintain a precise temperature within your home. So, if you have more options for temperature-settings, you also have more flexibility for heating you home, which also means more savings on energy bills.
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage of functioning and operate either at full power or not at all. Consequently, the furnace will always run in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Set Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc experts are here to help with a free, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the right solution. Contact us at 715-301-0256 to get started today!